These days, more and more women with children are choosing to work from home. This has many advantages: increased flexibility, spending more time with the kids, and supplementing the family income are all attractive reasons to pursue work opportunities from home. But there are unique challenges as well: these women have constant interruptions and may experience difficulty concentrating with the distractions of home life. Here are 5 survival skills for work-at-home moms:
1) Designate a Work Space
Work-at-home moms would do well to designate a space specific for their work (the kitchen table doesn’t count!). This helps physically and mentally separate home and work responsibilities. Claiming a room or a space as your own can help you take yourself seriously and also communicate that your work is important.
2) Work in Chunks
Women who work from home must take advantage of certain “chunks” of times in order to be most productive. Children’s nap time is a chunk during which you can effectively get things done. So is the time after the kids go to bed. Figure out when you will have the most freedom to work productively and break down your responsibilities into smaller, manageable tasks.
3) Restructure Your Roles
In order for you to successful as a work-from-home mom, you need your family support system to value what you do. You help take care of your children, but you can communicate to that you need them as well. Restructuring your role as not only a stay-at-home mom, but also as a provider will help you gain the respect, validation, and support you need.
4) Expect Imperfection
Those who think that working from home will be a seamless transition unfortunately are in for a rude awakening. There will be interruptions, you may miss some deadlines, and no matter how hard you try to keep to a strict schedule, things will be in flux at times. If and when you drop the ball, apologize, learn from what went wrong, then start again! Expecting imperfection will help you stay patient with yourself. Things are going to happen, and that’s ok.
5) Practice Radical Self-Care
Lastly, work-at-home moms need to give the utmost attention to themselves! Women sometimes have a tendency to neglect their own needs when taking care of others, but you will be most happy and productive if you take the time and energy to rejuvenate yourself. Eat properly, get enough sleep, and exercise so you can perform at your peak.
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